Jordan to build metro on BOT basis

11 November 2009

Government to fund part

Jordan plans to build its new railway network on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis with a total capital investment of $6 billion.

The design and construction phase will begin July 2010.

Jordan recently approved the construction of a standard rail network as opposed to its current narrow gauge track network.

The estimated length of the whole system once completed is 1,080 kilometres.

The railway will operate primarily as a single track with either single or double UIC length trains (750 to 1,500 feet in length) powered by diesel locomotives.

Financing is expected to combine both public and private sector financing with part of the project to be funded by the government to make it commercially and economically viable.

Infrastructure costs including start up costs and costs spread over the life of the railway are estimated at $3.9 billion.

Rolling stock investment is around $2.1 billion.

French bank BNP Paribas is advising the government of Jordan on the structuring of the project.

In a report, the bank said it expected line doubling will be required in 2015 between the Shidiya mine spur and Aqaba tunnel.

The bank also predicts the need for track doubling between Shidiya mine spur and Amman to Sahab industrial area and Juweidah grain silo in 2018.

The new railway will link major centres, ports and entry points within Jordan, such as Aqaba, Amman, Zarqa, Mafraq and Irbid and will also link Jordan with its regional neighbours.

The system will be instrumental in connecting European railways with the extensive new railways coming up in the Gulf.

The network includes a north-south corridor linking the Syrian border to Aqaba via Amman and two key extensions to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The new Jordanian rail network will be a key regional integration tool, designed to foster regional and local economic growth.

Request for expressions of interest is 30 January 2010.

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